Within the wee baker’s hours of a chilly Thursday morning, the intrepid Growler editorial team fanned out throughout the metro-from Hans’ Bakery in Anoka to Puffy Cream in Eagan, from YoYo in Minnetonka to the Donut Hut in Little Canada-in search of the perfect raised-glazed doughnut.
A basic raised-glazed, you see, is a thing of magnificence. A glistening ring of golden, puffy dough, varnished with a skinny layer of sugary glaze. There’s a lovely simplicity about it. Like a French omelette or a Czech Pilsner, the raised-glazed doughnut is a case study in how the correct approach could make a few fundamental ingredients shine.
We expect it’s the perfect benchmark to test the mettle of our metro’s copious doughnut retailers, because with no trendy toppings, the proof is all in the method. The makeup of the dough, how it’s blended, how it’s left to rise, how lengthy it’s fried, the temperature of the frying oil, and the heat of the doughnut when it’s glazed-all of these selections have a multiplying impact on the finished product.
And when we’d gathered doughnuts from 23 totally different retailers collectively, we discovered a nice deal of variation-from ethereal puffs of air with a gossamer glaze, to stodgy, dense doughnuts shellacked with sweetness. And someplace within the middle, we crowned a High Ten, and we’d be joyful to start out every Thursday morning with any one among them.
In fairness, we recognize that a single type of doughnut doesn’t outline a bakery. We’ve routinely loved different creations at places that didn’t make the top Ten in raised-glazed (the cake doughnuts at Sleepy V’s and A Baker’s Spouse, the hand pies at Bogart’s, and the apple fritters at PJ Murphy’s come instantly to thoughts.)
We also recognize the variable nature of baking-possibly there’s a beginner on the fryer sooner or later or the dough doesn’t arrange quite right. One of the doughnuts in our tasting was fully raw inside, as have been the backup samples we bought (though we returned to that bakery the following day and found them correctly cooked.) However c’est la nature with style assessments-one random sample won’t be absolutely consultant of a place, but all of them obtained the same shot.
After all, personal style in judging additionally comes into play. We devised a set of pointers for the Platonic superb of a raised-glazed doughnut that every entry would be judged towards: a fluffy texture with a decent chew (not too dense), with a mellow and yeasty flavor to the dough, and topped with an assertive balancing sweetness.
No matter which standards have been chosen, they would essentially exclude some in any other case tasty doughnuts from contention. For instance, these from Bogart’s, Valley Pastries, and Granny Donuts have been dinged for their density being nearer to bread than a doughnut. That’s not to say they wouldn’t be a lovely selection should you prefer a heavier texture. And holding the tasting on a Thursday excluded a few worthy contenders: Mel-O-Glaze was only open Friday-Sunday during January. Sun Road Breads does their glorious doughnuts on Wednesdays only. With all these caveats in mind, we were able to hone nearly two dozen samples down to a tremendous 10. From there, two doughnuts stood out above the rest.
A Baker’s Wife’s Pastry Shop
Angel Food Bakery
Bogart’s Doughnut Co.
Cafe Donuts & Ice Cream
Glam Doll Donuts
Lunds & Byerlys
Mojo Monkey Donuts
Quaint Donut Shoppe
P.J. Murphy’s Bakery
Puffy Cream Donuts Plus
Sarah Jane’s Bakery
Thirsty Whale Bakery
(listed in alphabetical order)
Cafe Donuts & Ice Cream, Minneapolis
“Like a homegrown Dunkin’” our tasters said. A slimmer profile with a slighter increase, these Downtown doughnuts had a nice fry with a stunning crunch, giving method to a spongy interior. A gentle-spoken glaze completes a stable package.
Cardigan Donuts, Minneapolis
On the lighter aspect of things, the raised-glazed at Cardigan stand out with a pronounced yeasty character to the dough, and a lactic style in the glaze that collectively add as much as a nostalgic cereal-milk flavor. An airy texture. A great sheen to the glaze.
It’s always insightful to incorporate a few quantity chains or grocery stores in tastings like these. That’s where tons of individuals are getting their morning doughnut, and it’s good to know when a manufacturing unit-sized output still produces good outcomes. To wit: Cub Foods pumps out a solid raised-glazed: hearty texture, a nice sheen to the glaze, with the right stage of sweetness.
The Donut Hut, Little Canada
Previous-school is the important thing phrase right here. A number of of our tasters famous these doughnuts had a rustic, small-city really feel to them. A nice springy bounce to the texture. Minimal and sweet without being a sugar-bomb.
Glam Doll Donuts, Minneapolis
Who goes to Glam Doll just to get the plainest doughnut within the case? You should, that’s who. Their raised-glazed has a robust crunchiness to the exterior with a thicker coat of glaze. The inside is mild and airy, giving the entire bite a really nice textural distinction.
Puffy Cream Donuts Plus, Eagan
Puffy is true. One of many lightest versions on the tasting, these airy and delicate doughnuts have a beautiful depth of flavor to them, and a refined sweetness to the glaze. We could eat three without thinking twice.
Thirsty Whale Bakery, Minneapolis
Up within the Camden neighborhood, this properly-regarded joint clearly has the goods. Their raised-glazed were on the underdone aspect of the spectrum, however they still achieved a wonderful chewiness and a gentle vanilla-tinged flavor to the aftertaste kept us coming again for extra.
YoYo Donuts, Minnetonka
The looks on these doughnuts are so perfect-shiny, unbroken glaze, perfectly shaped and uniformly fried-they regarded extra like a porcelain sculpture of a doughnut. And the flavor lived as much as the visual promise-a hearty texture, with a good chew and mellow sweetness.
The Runner Up
SugaRush, St. Paul
The ultimate two came right down to a minute personal choice-there’s simply nothing that needs improvement in regards to the raised-glazed at SugaRush. It options a strong, nearly malty, yeast character to the chewy and springy dough and a thicker glaze amplifies the whole bundle.
The Grand Champion
Quaint Donut Shoppe, Crystal
Once we arrived at Lamplighter Plaza in Crystal, not one of the lights were on. Within the morning dim, we could make out the words “Delicious Donuts” above the door. Inside, a no-frills store, the entire antithesis of the Instagram age.
However who needs cute branding or wild flavors with common doughnuts this good? Their raised-glazed achieved a excellent rise, virtually croissant-like in look, with a tender chew from the exterior and a pillowy inside.